The 300th Episode!

For our 300th episode, our hosts – both old and new – are interviewed by Dr. Stephen Seiler to discuss where we’ve been and where we’re going.

FTL Episode 300

That’s right, Fast Talk has turned 300! Well, more accurately we’ve done 300 episodes. And in that time, we’ve gone from a couple guys with a recorder (and little clue) to a team of coaches, physiologists, and top experts who have put their trust in Fast Talk to help share their vast knowledge as well as the questions we all have that keep this industry moving forward.  

So, today we got the whole team together. This includes not just our current hosts Trevor Connor, Rob Pickels, Grant Holicky, and Griffin McMath, but also past Fast Talk host Chris Case and longtime friend of the show Dr. Stephen Seiler who will be hosting our 300th episode.   

Today, Dr. Seiler asks the team how we deal with getting older, what we see as the impact of artificial intelligence on training, what future topics training science is still figuring out, and just how much we really need to periodize. Dr. Seiler asks some hard-hitting questions, and this isn’t the sort of team that’s going to shy away from direct answers. We address them with our usual camaraderie and unique sense of humor.  

A Note from Trevor Connor, CEO of Fast Talk Laboratories: 

As one of the original two members of Fast Talk, it’s been an honor to have been part of these 300 episodes. While we constantly aspired to improve, we’ve tried every episode to give our listeners the best information we can and always bring on smarter experts to share their wisdom.  

So, let’s take a moment to celebrate 300 episodes and then get excited for what our next 100 episodes are going to bring. Oh, and let’s make you fast! 

Episode Transcript

Trevor Connor  00:04

Hello and Welcome to Fast talk your source for the science of endurance performance. I’m your host, Trevor Connor here with our entire team to celebrate our 300th episode. That’s right, bass talk has turned 300 Well, more accurately, we’ve done 300 episodes. And in that time, we’ve gone from a couple guys with a quarter and little clue to a team of coaches, physiologists and top experts who have put their trust in fast talk to help share their vast knowledge as well as the questions we all have to keep this industry moving forward. So today we got the whole team together. This includes not just our current hosts myself, Rob pickles, Grant Hall key and Griffin McMath, but also past past talk host Chris case and longtime friend of the show Dr. Steven Siler, who will be hosting our 300th episode today, Dr. Sylar asked the team how we deal with getting older what we see as the impact of artificial intelligence on training. But future topics training, science is still figuring out and just how much we really need to periodize Dr. Sylar asked some hard hitting questions. And this isn’t the sort of team that’s going to shy away from direct answers, we address them with our usual camaraderie and unique sense of humor. Also, just want to say it’s a personal note, I want the original two members of fast talk, it’s been an honor to have him part of these 300 episodes, where we constantly aspire to improve. We’ve tried every episode to give our listeners the best information we can and always bring on Smarter experts to share their wisdom. So let’s take a moment to celebrate 300 episodes, and they get excited for what our next 100 episodes are going to bring. Oh, and let’s make it fast. Listeners, this is a great time of year to expand your training knowledge join fast talk laboratories now for the best knowledge base of training signs and topics like polarized training, intervals, data analysis, sports, nutrition, physiology, and more. Join fast talk labs today and push your thinking and your training to all new heights. See more fast talk

Dr. Stephen Seiler  02:04

Well, this is a huge honor. For me, it’s the 300th episode of fast talk, and you guys are like my own no secret best friends, or you’ve introduced me to podcasts. And and I’ve never been the same since. But 300 is a big number. You’ve achieved it in only eight years, I that seems like you’ve been working pretty hard. And I am honored to get the opportunity to actually be the person that kind of tries to lead this discussion. Now we’ll see how this actually goes. But because there’s a bunch of natural leaders here. So we’ll see what happens. But what we got around the table, we’ve got several people who have been involved as hosts of fast dock podcast, going back eight years, I did a little research got a little help from Trevor on some of the topics and trying to understand and I think what I want to talk about with you today, at least one of the things is kind of how has fast talker evolved? And what does it mean? What have we learned? Why are these topics changing? What topics have died? And is there a good reason they should have died and so forth. So that’s kind of my goal. And plus another thing I’m going to try to get into with you guys because I think I’m the oldest in the room here. But we’re getting older. And I think several of us have crossed 50. In that write grants the new one, Trevor, you pass 50 grants, Rob is still on the on the positive side of 50. Okay, so you get to be the young guy in the room and I’m the old guy in the room. I’m looking at 60 in my front, oof, what do you call? It’s not the rearview mirror, but whatever’s in front. So

Background Noise  03:46

the windshield, that would be the windshield? Yeah.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  03:51

Normally in a 60. Side,

Grant Holicky  03:54

gray and barren. And the other thing we’ve learned today is don’t go driving with Steven Siva.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  04:03

Because see, that’s That’s exactly right. I’m having to wear glasses now. But not distance vision is pretty good. As long as it doesn’t. I don’t have to read. But maybe we start there. We’re all you know, dealing with this reality. Trevor, you kind of retired recently from competitive cycling, at least in a way and

Trevor Connor  04:22

just to correct you competitive cycling retired me? Well, I didn’t say this all the time. Competitive cycling just said yeah, you’re not doing this anymore. You’re not

Dr. Stephen Seiler  04:35

good enough. Get out of your band, be a coach. Now, but we all face this. However, I want to start with something. There was a book I read many years ago when I was even a young man. And it was called the warrior athlete. And it was about a mentality of being an athlete. And so I want to start with this. Some of us have retired. We’re not really competing that much, but I think everybody in this room thinks of themselves As an athlete still, am I wrong or right, Trevor? Start with you think of myself. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, we’re not measuring do to max here. Don’t worry. I’m not gonna do any lactate checks every day. But I’m talking about your mentality of facing the day your mentality and when you go out and train. Do you all got? Are we still athletes? Yes, yeah, probably he’s still an athlete.

Rob Pickels  05:24

My life revolves around getting inactivity. So I’ll say that I’m an athlete. Yeah. Chris,

Dr. Stephen Seiler  05:28

you’re like biking around Iceland these days? Are you an athlete? Yes,

Chris Case  05:32

I’m a different version of things. I’ll always be an athlete, Chris

Grant Holicky  05:36

and I were kind of talking about this the other day, that you know, we evolve as we get older of maybe looking for different things or finding different challenges. Maybe that’s the definition of being an athlete. You know, I’m, I’m starting to get a little bit tired of the stress and the anxiety of racing cyclocross, but, um, I don’t see myself not racing, I see myself maybe coming up with something that I’m really, really bad at, and then trying to improve at that, because that’s what I really enjoy about being an athlete. Yeah.

Chris Case  06:07

And that’s what I’ve done. I say I graduated from the standard traditional forms of bike racing, road, mountain cyclocross, if you will, into these realms where I wasn’t good. I’m not sure I belong there. I didn’t exactly know what I was doing. And I did that intentionally to try and learn more about myself as an athlete. Interestingly enough, I then continued to do that bikepacking gravel, whatever it might be. But I also wanted to return to the things that I do know and do feel like I belong in naturally cyclocross be in particular, because I wanted to have that feeling again. And I’ll go back and forth.

Trevor Connor  06:47

So Steven, best answer I can give you to this question. And I’m revealing something that nobody knows. But I’ve been dating a woman now for a couple of months. And she is now now this.

Background Noise  07:06

This is not just an AI thing.

Grant Holicky  07:10

I know what we’re doing for

Trevor Connor  07:14

real woman and she is not my Canadian girlfriend for

Grant Holicky  07:18

episode 301. We’re going to interview Trevor’s oh my god, I

Background Noise  07:22


Trevor Connor  07:23

But going back to your question, she is not an athlete. And I can tell you, we are already at that point where she is frequently saying, Why did you say that? Or why did you do that? And my answer is always that just what athletes do. That’s the athlete mindset. And I am learning through her that the athlete mindset isn’t something that you just bring in when you’re on the bike or out for a run. It is a mindset that goes throughout life. It is like everything I do is the athlete mindset. And dating somebody who’s not an athlete, she just thinks I am strange. Well, I don’t know, man,

Background Noise  08:00

you are strange. So I think

Dr. Stephen Seiler  08:05

for all of you, there’s a reason this is the first woman in a while. Oh, man, it’s so nice to be able to make fun of us because everybody else makes fun of me. around the table.

Chris Case  08:19

Did we mention that? He’s Canadian? Yeah, we?

Dr. Stephen Seiler  08:21

We’ve used that for years. Yes,

Chris Case  08:24

we have. I think I pioneered

Rob Pickels  08:26

that. I do want to say something real quick. And that is, you know, Grant, you kind of started bringing this up. And then Chris, you you kept talking about it, where I think a lot of people believe that there’s this exclusivity to athleticism, and it’s tied to racing. And that is definitely not the case, right? You don’t have to race to be an athlete. And I think that there are a lot of people who are maybe generally into fitness or generally into activities that they like, and they say all those that thing isn’t for me, that’s for athletes. Well, you are an athlete, and just because you don’t race, that’s okay, you’re still approaching it with the same mentality wanting to get better. It drives you what motivates you, you look forward to doing those activities. In my mind. That’s where the athlete comes out.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  09:05

Yeah, and sports are cruel. I mean, it’s a cruel because it is so at least particularly some sports where it is such a clear definition, you either can run the 100 meters in this time, or you can’t and you see your decline really sharply in certain kinds of sports. And it’s a very just a humbling reality to watch your own physical capacity, kind of begin to decline. I think we’ve all felt that in different ways, whether it’s our FTP sliding a bit or, or whatever. But as we talked about the mentality of waking up in the morning with purpose, trying to take care of our bodies, thinking about our sleep, thinking about how we eat in a kind of a not an obsessive way, but just saying hey, it’s all part of who I am, because I do want to be able to perform in my daily Live, I don’t think you’ll ever get rid of that if you’ve been at for a long time. But we do have to, if we transition into another part of this question, I think we do have to make allowances for the fact that we’re getting older, we don’t, we can’t keep doing everything, the exact same way we were used to, I found that to be true is that I can’t get away with some things that I could get away with previously, I’m paying for past sins today, in the sense of old injuries and things like that. I tweeted some weeks back, I think it was five different things that I thought about as an aging person when I’m training. And one of them was just things I tried to get inside the training program, particularly in the weight room, when I’m not on the bike. One of them was Momo, mobility and mobilization, I have to have a certain, you know, I’ve got to work on being able to be mobile in my, in certain joints, and that and I need to be able to mobilize, which for me is kind of like that power park, you know, get my leg out in front of me. So I don’t slide on the ice or something like that. So I’m doing some of those movements. So that’s just one of my and I have others extension, you know, because we tend to get crunched over in our daily routines and on the bike. So almost everything I do in the weight room is extending, you know, my body trying to get tall, and extend it with kettlebells or whatever. So those are a couple of mine, that I have to, you know, that I think more about now at 58 than I did at 18 or 28 or 38. What’s one of yours, Trevor? What allowances or concessions or changes? Are you making it? 50?

Trevor Connor  11:32

Well, you know, this is pretty timely, because just last week, I went in and got an MRI on my back, because I decided it was finally time and got the results yesterday and asked this was with the chiropractor I worked with and asked the chiropractor of A to F scale, where would you rate my back and she goes, I give you a solid D there’s a lot of damage to the bone, I’ve haven’t disc compression, all this sort of stuff. I just thought about it for a minute. And you know, when I was racing full time, I probably slipped across the pavement over 100 times. And I remember back when I was racing full time and crashing all the time going, you know, there’s going to be a point in my life where I’m going to pay a price for this and what she was describing to me what was going on with my back and went, Oh, this is that point. paid that price. This is their this is where I’m at and it was that realization of Yeah, I did a lot of damage. You know, I’m keep doing my exercises, she’s given me some good routines to do but I’ll never have a perfect spine again. I’ll never get back to anything close to what I used to be. And this is just part of the reality. I have to live with us now.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  12:45

I call it skiing slalom, ski slalom around our injuries as we nice.

Grant Holicky  12:50

You know, I had a little bit of a different experience with this because I came to cycling so late, you know, I came to triathlon and cycling probably, let’s say when I was 30. So I was able to hold this improvement much, much later. And so I was improving FTP or improving my ability versus the guys. I would somebody like Chris that I was racing against. I get closer to him as I got older. You never got closer to me. No, I never heard I never got closer. Okay, I never got close to you. I got closer. Gotcha. But no, never. It’s never close. I can look at you know, I never got close. And then around 45 are starting to go towards 50 I started to see not necessarily decline. But the things I couldn’t do anymore. I can’t swim anymore. I grew up as a swimmer. And my shoulders won’t allow me to swim. I have osteoarthritis. That’s a word you don’t hear when you’re 35, right, osteoarthritis and a shoulder. And the biggest thing that I used to be able to do is just do things off the couch, I did a marathon with my wife off the couch one time when we were you know, 34 something and I paid for it a little bit. But after a couple days, I was fine. Knowing if I tried that now I had a buddy go we should do the 50k run at mid south and like dude, I run two miles that day. That might not work. Like start and then thinking about the fact that I’d actually have to prepare for it was daunting. So I might not do that. But when I was 35 I do yeah, in worst case scenario, just do it off the couch. So that’s I mean, that’s the biggest thing that I’ve noticed is just I have to be so much more intentional about about things now. And whether that’s how my diet changed through the last 15 years in order to not gain weight. Whether that’s how I have to recover. Sleep became a big thing you know, as this one coach when I was 35 I didn’t sleep bed five and practice you just didn’t sleep right And now and now with two kids and being 50 years old. If I Don’t get eight hours of sleep, I’m in deep trouble. So those are the alterations, I think,

Dr. Stephen Seiler  15:05

well guys, let’s think about Trevor, if this girlfriend thing keeps progressing.

Rob Pickels  15:09

He’s four. He’s gonna be 70 and two kids,

Dr. Stephen Seiler  15:13

and he’s like taking his kid to the kindergarten at 60. You know, the kids are gonna be going, Oh, why are you with your grandpa?

Rob Pickels  15:20

But he’ll be retired all that time and then training. I’ve actually

Trevor Connor  15:25

had this conversation with her because she was like, Have you ever thought about still having kids because I really want to have kids but I look at it now and go if I have a kid now they’re going off to college when I’m in my 70s

Dr. Stephen Seiler  15:38

a man if what’s his name? Rolling Stones do make or Keith Mick Jagger is what he’s kind of like a 27 year old wife. And he’s he’s like pushing at, you know, if he can do it, you can do it.

Trevor Connor  15:49

I do not have moves like Jagger,

Chris Case  15:51

my wife’s uncle, the top 10 oldest fathers of all time. You

Dr. Stephen Seiler  15:56

probably don’t have a bank account like Jagger either. Know that how well off you 7979

Grant Holicky  16:00

As a dad,

Rob Pickels  16:02

I want to say I think my Ark is actually more similar to grants. And so it’s gonna be interesting, Chris, because I don’t know your background and Griffin new as well. But, you know, I was a really competitive athlete in a different sport, right. I was a 400, meter hurdler. Throughout high school in college. I kind of dabbled in triathlon in grad school, but I didn’t really seriously start cycling for training, gosh, until like very late 20s, maybe early 30s. And so I had a much longer upward arc, I think that most people tend to experience because of that. But what confounds my sort of physiological background, right is the autoimmunity issues that we’ve talked about on the show where there’s been years where try as I may, my fitness was just absolutely terrible. And I felt like garbage all the time, whether that was because of autoimmunity flare ups, or maybe because of medication that I was on. And so there are times now that I have things a little bit more figured out that I feel better at 40. But I still have these unexplained sort of periods. And so it’s hard to know physiologically, if I’m any different than I was 10 years ago because of that confounding factor. But I will say and something a sentiment that I think is kind of underlying a lot of the conversation so far is that the changes I’ve seen have very much been musculoskeletal. It’s the pains, it’s the lack of mobility, it’s the, the soreness in my back and losing strength in my legs, so on and so forth. And as I’ve aged, and I’ve aged to the ripe old age of 41, at this point, starting to wrinkles, starting to gray, you know, just just a touch there. That’s what’s beginning to creep up on me. But I will say, some days I feel it. And when I hear people who are 60 say, Oh, when I was 40. That’s nothing Just you wait, then it gives a very grim outlook for the future. So I don’t know that I’m looking forward to the next 20 years. But we’ll say every

Griffin McMath  17:46

decade says that to the decade behind, right. Yeah, you say that in your early 30s. To the people in their early 20s. were complaining, it’s there’s always someone else saying be happy with what you have right now. Griffin,

Dr. Stephen Seiler  17:57

you don’t get to have an opinion. You’re 22. She’s

Rob Pickels  18:03

our control subject over there.

Griffin McMath  18:04

No, and my first leadership meetings, and I think it scared Trevor to have to death because it was the most back to back, not HR approved questions that were being fired off. And one of them I think was Rob, who just eventually to me goes So how old are you? And Trevor said, Okay, as the person who represents HR did not have to answer this question. And I think I just decided to play into it and said, How old do you think I am? And I think Trevor just put his hand and as long going no one, everyone’s off course you

Rob Pickels  18:32

already hired at that point. I’m

Griffin McMath  18:33

  1. Okay, since

Dr. Stephen Seiler  18:34

you’ve passed 30, to have an opinion he little bit, but just barely. Yeah.

Griffin McMath  18:41

I appreciate Rob’s these stories of starting later. You know, I obviously we all know that I’m not a professional athlete by Well, I’m not let’s just we’ll stop there as someone who is active growing up and then has not been competitively active. And I don’t know, maybe 15 years now I look at things especially inspired by all of you and where I work, it seems, you know, training for something specifically is really admirable. It’s really interesting. But grant, you talked about being 50. And if you need eight hours of sleep, Trevor knows this if I don’t get full eight hours of sleep, I’m an absolute waste the next day and I’m 33 so pretty universal, there

Dr. Stephen Seiler  19:18

it is. But things will we do fade a bit and I’m not a huge watch some other kinds of videos YouTube and it but there’s a an author, I think is Peter Atea. Yep. He’s written a book and, and he was on this podcast that I was going to be on. So I was kind of doing a little research and, and he talked about something I found really interesting, which was this, you know, the arc of your your aging arc, and then you try to project forward and say, What if you had to guess you know, this a little bit, maybe a little bit dark, but to say, what’s going to be your last decade? How old will you be when you enter your last decade? And of course you don’t know. But if you could, you know, imagine what would you want to be able to do in that last decade? Let’s say mine is from 80. You know, I hit 80 or I hit 75. When I say, Okay, this is my last 10 years, what do I want to be able to do? Do I want to be able to walk the dog? Do I want to be able to climb a hill? Do I want to be able to climb stairs with two bags of groceries, or, you know, other ambitions. And he was just saying that people don’t realize that if you want to be able to do that projecting forward, you know, 2530 years, you got to start training for it. Now. You know, me at 58 I already got I need to be taken care of my mobility. Now, if I’m going to have enough mobility to be able to get up and off the floor with a six month old, or a three year old grandkid. Right? If I’m going to be able to bend down and pick up the kid off the floor when I’m when I’m 70. I got to work on that now. And so I think that’s a really interesting way of thinking because it suggests we’re almost training. It’s an you know, a way of thinking about how you, you almost have to be an athlete, or it helps to have an athlete mentality, I think to have a good aging

Rob Pickels  20:58

process. It benefits you into longevity, right? Yeah. So yeah,

Dr. Stephen Seiler  21:03

you know, to get more out of your years, as we do, kind of move towards the end, we’re closer to the I’m closer to the end of my life than I am to the beginning. I mean, that’s just the bottom line. It’s not McCobb to say that it is what it is. But I want to be able to play with my grandkids, I want to be the coolest granddad in daycare center, you know, that comes jogging in, not on a wheelchair, right? So if I can avoid that, so those, that’s what I want, you know, and I want to have the coolest toys in my house, you know, so that we can have fun. But I gotta prepare for that

Rob Pickels  21:37

your grandkids have to love you. You’re the guy behind silos for about eight minute intervals. And you know, the best.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  21:43

Sure, that’s gonna be enough. You know, I don’t know.

Trevor Connor  21:47

I think it’s really important to point out that there is not one way of aging, nor does everybody age at the same rate. You know, there are different things that happen. So you asked me how I look at this and I talked about my back right at the start of this. I don’t look at that as aging. I look at that as I’ve had a lot of crashes. I’ve done a lot. There’s a price to pay for that. But even though it’s the stereotype of the old guy gone Oh, my back. I don’t really see that as aging. You know, even though I’ve got these issues, I don’t go hey, I’m an old man. Now. I don’t feel that way. You know, I still feel like I got some energy. I still feel like I’ve got a lot to do. You know, I still tell my nephews and nieces when they call me old. I’m like you get a call me old when you can keep up with me. Yeah, but be

Dr. Stephen Seiler  22:31

careful with that. Because I tried two years ago, I was out on on the field, my daughter was running. And I was like, I can’t keep up with you. You’ll start sprinting and I get a little faster. And before I know it, I tore my hamstring. Oh, no. Yeah, purple down the thigh and everything just because I got all just a little bit, you know, thinking I was younger than I was. Gonna say, I used to be pretty fast. You know, when I was going to sprint pass, my daughter knows Jesus. It was the most humbling thing I have ever experienced. Here’s

Trevor Connor  23:08

one for the old man. So my nephew makes fun of me all the time for being old. And he came out to Colorado and we are skiing in Breckenridge and weird at the end of the day doing the really long run to get to the bottom. And I could tell that he kept wanting to stop and catch his breath. And I’m like, No, I’m not gonna let him. So I made us go all the way down this like two mile run to the bottom. Without stop and we got to the bottom, he just fell to the snow. And he’s like, on his back. Trying to catch his breath, and had the best moment of my life. I just ski over. Victory. Come on old man. Let’s get going. Trevor

Rob Pickels  23:50

stands over and goes. That’s what athletes do. Bring it.

Chris Case  23:53

One thing I’d like to add, though, kind of going back to something you said Dr. Seiler, which is right now at 58. You are saying to yourself who I need to train for being the best grandfather. I think that what would be better than that is not waiting until you’re 58. But planning for that when you’re 28. And when you’re 38. And when you’re 48 and have it be much more of a continuum. Rather than wake up one day and say, oh, man, my back starts hurting and my this starts hurting, and ooh, I better focus on mobility now. And I don’t want to say it. I think I’ve been very fortunate. I don’t really have any alterations to discuss in terms of my training, I do kind of the same thing that I’ve always done. Again, I think it’s partially luck. Maybe it’s partially smart training. And I’ve paid attention to all this stuff all along the way. So don’t get in the mindset of Oh, well. I’ll wait until I’m 45 and then I’ll start doing some of this.

Grant Holicky  24:56

So so that’s what we mean this comes full circle back to this mentality of an athlete, right? I think one of the issues not to get on a high horse here. But one of the issues that US athletics has is that we tend to look at athletics as something that young people do. We’re not encouraging people to look at what they play as a lifelong sport, right? What’s our favorite sport in this country, it’s football, that’s not a lifelong sport. And so you watch a lot of people leave that sport, and they’re no longer athletes. So looking at our sports, and looking at our governing bodies, and encouraging people to look at this stuff as not just for excellence, but for health and happiness and longevity. And I think something that that’s what you’re saying, Chris. And I think that’s something that a lot of us are looking at now. And honestly, throughout my athletic career, after the age of 26, so much of this has been about I want to keep being able to write I you know, rehab my shoulder still so that I can throw a baseball to my kids or I can throw baseball, my grandkids and 20 years can’t throw it the way I threw it when I was 18 and trying to become a professional baseball player, but I can still throw it. So I think this comes full circle to where you started the question of, you know, what defines us as athletes, and maybe that’s what defines us as athletes that forward looking mentality. It’s not about right now it’s about down the road, and what we do to prepare for that. Steven,

Rob Pickels  26:30

can I throw that question actually, to you as an expat? Who is now living in Norway, you probably have a good sense of the Norwegian lifestyle and maybe even Europe as a whole. Do you feel that the older Norwegian or European on average is exercising or getting in more activity than the average American is? This

Grant Holicky  26:49

is about to come from a guy from Texas, so we’ll just throw that up.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  26:54

Yeah, well, it’s uh, I think I have to start by saying that the sports cultures are so fundamentally different, because even me, if you use me as an example, I’m representative of most boys that grew up in the United States, or at least in the southern United States, and that is our introduction to sport was either basketball, or American football or baseball, right? Those I think are the still the big three. And so that’s kind of the template for sports, and we were thrown into it. And the only reason I’m even on a bike, or at least the reason I got on a bike for the first time in my early 20s, was to rehab a knee injury. And I think a tremendous number of people in the United States that are doing cycling and triathlon, if we ask them, their history, they got started with it, because they had gotten hurt and couldn’t do the other thing that they used to do, whether it was playing tennis, or playing football, or they were a basketball player or whatever. That’s typical you us, whereas in Norway, soccer is is very popular, but endurance sport, in general, has a higher status, you might say, if that makes sense. at an earlier age, or in the schools in the clubs. It’s more common that kids one of the very first things they do is learn to ski or cycle or orienteering in running and so forth. So that’s one of the things I noticed immediately when I moved here was Wow, endurance sport gets talked about gets written about in the newspaper, for example, it’s respected, yeah, respected, I guess was, there was a deep respect for the athlete that skied off into the woods that came back two hours later, was spit and drew droning running down their face, and they crossed the line first, and they got the gold medal or the you know, there was just this deep respect for that. Whereas I grew up and the first question you asked was, what’s your benchpress? You know, right. Nobody asked you that question in Norway, you know, but it was more like, are you good on skis? Are you a good rower? It was just another thing.

Trevor Connor  29:00

I think what’s really important there is all the US sports that you mentioned are more strength sports, your peak strength is in your late teens, early 20s. It’s very young, where endurance sports, depending on your discipline, the peak can be in your 30s 40s it’s much later in life

Dr. Stephen Seiler  29:16

unless you’re Tom Brady, I mean, you know, and then it kind of breaks the calibration, but But yeah, it’s a young man’s game, young person’s game, the sports that are part of the US culture. So I do think it’s probably it’s tough. It’s tough to graduate college and have that be the peak of your athletic life is at 22. And now you’re done. You know, and so we’re lucky we that do endurance sports, I think because we have a different timescale, a different timeframe. You know, and we can still enjoy highly competitive sport in our 50s and well beyond because I have gotten my butt kicked on phones with by 60 plus years and we are really good on the bike that can produce some heavy watts. So, anyway, so I thought it was it’s kind of been fun to talk a little bit about that. I think a lot of the people who listen to this program are out our age and they’re feeling some of these same things. But if we kind of transition back to fast talk in the fast dock aging process, because fast talker has also gotten older, and hopefully wiser, but not necessarily but more mature now. No, yeah. Well, you’ve definitely evolved

Rob Pickels  30:32

to podcast aging people years or puppy years.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  30:35

Yeah, I’m not sure. I That’s a good question. But no, it’s not. It’s not really a good question. But it’s okay. It was it. Okay, you know, anyway, when you first started I Trevor kind of tried to summarize the 300 episodes or a little bit of the sequencing of it, and I came in at episode 60. I’ve been told or round episode 6851 Okay, even earlier. Well, okay, that’s not quite 60. But Trevor said 60 So he was making me

Rob Pickels  31:07

feel came in like episode four. Just so you know,

Trevor Connor  31:10

Rob was on I was surprised Rob was on one of our very first episodes. I was a single one episode. Yeah. So we’ve had this arc that we started out very serious. And then we brought in these respected researchers and gained some respect, and then graduate the show. Yeah, I

Grant Holicky  31:25

came late. I was in the I was in the 80s. And then the

Dr. Stephen Seiler  31:30

bottom of the barrel at that point stuck in the 80s.

Trevor Connor  31:34

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Dr. Stephen Seiler  32:17

So early days, guys, you were part of Vello news. Is that not right? Yes. One thing I wanted to ask you, as podcasts, you know, you you’ve run this podcast, and I’m a scientist in at least that’s what I get paid to be. And neutrality is so important, you know, this idea that I have got to protect my integrity as a scientist in what I allow to be attached to my name, it can be very tempting to say I, you know, I can make some money doing this, or I could work with this company or whatever. And I think as these podcasts, I find that interesting, because I love podcasts, you guys do a wonderful job of trying to disseminate and translate information from science to practice. You know, you bring in scientists, you bring in athletes, you bring in coaches, but you got to pay the bills, and there’s issues around that. And so I’m curious, I want to just throw it out there to you is how do you work with that issue of the commercial aspects of this process that we’re doing?

Trevor Connor  33:19

So this is gonna sound like a joke, but this is actually dead serious. We don’t, I have nothing but lost money on this show.

Rob Pickels  33:26

There was a time that Trevor and I sat down and considered different things that we could do to make money off of this. And we generated a list of people that we would allow to sponsor the show in some way. And we did take a little bit of money from some sponsors at one point, but the list was short. The list is very short.

Trevor Connor  33:49

It was a shortlist. And look, this is something I’m actually very proud of, and oh, no, we’ve ever talked about this on the show. But we had a fairly lucrative deal. We had the contract written up where we were going to be bringing in about 100 grand a year. But we put in the deal that we will not advertise for any product that we don’t believe in. And as we were writing the contract that actually got challenged, there was a product that they wanted us to advertise on the show, Chris, and I researched into it and said, We can’t back this product. Like we didn’t find research to say that the product was awful. But we didn’t find any research to say there there is a scientific basis to this product. And so we went back and said, you can put an ad on the show for this product. But Chris, and I won’t read it because we won’t stand behind this. And they turned around and said you will read these ads or the deal is off. So we walked away from $100,000 a year deal. And the thing that absolutely kills me as we walked away from that, and then like 10 episodes later, we’re doing an episode on the topic that I’m not going to mention the product that this product is about and so We did actually, during that episode mentioned the product, and there were a couple of very small studies that showed some signs. So he said, Look, we don’t think there’s enough research behind this. But there are these couple studies. And I got this scathing email from a listener cusing, me of selling out and promoting this product. And I’m like, You have no idea how much money I walked away from in order to not advertise this.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  35:27

It’s tough. But there are people and I’ve been on pocket. There’s at least quite a few podcasts out there health related, that I think do really good work. And they probably help a lot of people, but they are a business. Yeah, you know, like I was recently on did an interview on a podcast from from the UK. And, and this person is a wonderful guy. And I just, it was fantastic interview, and I really a really respected him. 23 years, he’s been a primary care physician. He’s worked in the BBC, he’s written books, but he does do advertising. But he just said, look, it’s for the greater good. And I get it, you know. And so I think it’s an interesting dilemma. You know, because some of the podcasters that are doing have the biggest audiences, you can’t have that audience without advertising. And so I think you’re in this conundrum, of what’s the greater good? Would it possibly be that fast talk would reach more people and do more good. If you bit that sour apple a little bit? I don’t know.

Rob Pickels  36:32

I think that the choice that we’ve been making, whether right or wrong, I think is maybe a topic for a different episode or a not an episode behind an episode, in our playbook is pretty much been opposite of what is known to be effective in media right now. Right? If we had very strong opinions that were on the fringe that were controversial. We had maybe some titles that were more click Beatty, then yeah, we’d probably be driving more views to tell you the truth. But the fact of the matter is, I think that Trevor and I know myself and everyone else involved with the show. We’ve always looked at this kind of you know, Dr. Seiler, and I’m using Dr. Seiler this time because you open to this question with I’m a researcher, I want to be impartial. And I think that that’s the entire the same way that we’ve done it because we’ve all come except Chris, forget that guy. From an exercise science, a physiology, biomechanics and kinesiology background. This is how we were trained through advanced degrees. And it’s still the same mentality that we pull forward. And the last thing that we want is for someone to say, to even be able to say or think, Oh, well, they’re just saying that because of the sponsor that came on the show today, right. And, and I think the media gets accused of this all the time. At this point, some outfits are okay with that. But it’s not something that fast talker has ever been okay with. I think that if you’re hearing something from our voices, it’s because we truly believe or we truly think that. And if we don’t, I think that we say it, or I think that will say hey, here’s some research on the other side of that, you know, I think that we have leaned, you know, toward a polarized training model, and you have become such a great friend of the show, because of all the science that you’ve done to back that up. In all honesty, if 200 papers came out and was like polarized is garbage, and this other training model is better, nothing against you, I’d kick you to the curb in a heartbeat, you know, because the research, you know, backs backs up something else. But that’s always been the guiding principle for the show. And I think it’s one that’s been important to the success that we’ve had,

Trevor Connor  38:28

there are two principles that were discussed before we even recorded our first episode one is, we always follow the science, wherever it leads, we’re not going to be arrogant and say we’ve always gotten it right. I can look back at earlier episodes and say, Boy, you know, we’ve learned a lot since then. And don’t agree with that anymore. But whenever we’re recording, we’re never intentionally saying something that we know to be wrong. It’s always based on what we know the science and and what we know from our own experience. And then I just completely lost my train of thought there was a second principle Give me one second to think about this, Kelly, please cut all this.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  39:07

So this is ag This is.

Trevor Connor  39:12

There’s the second part, the second principle was we did not want the show to just be our opinion. And that’s why we’ve always had guests. That’s why we’ve always had the sides. We’ve always wanted to bring in different opinions. The one thing that surprised me during the show was expecting to have a lot more episodes, where we bring in guests and they’d be at each other’s throats and go oh, you’re wrong about this. And we’ve had that a couple times is FTP Dead episode. We definitely had some differences of opinions there. But I had been surprised how often we have picked a topic. We’ve had a primary guest we’ve had a bunch of side interviews, and everybody said the same thing. And we even try right to get different opinions and everyone’s like, nope, here, here’s where it’s at. So, I have noticed when you get to those higher levels, when you’re talking about the, you know, the really good coaches, the top physiologists, there are certain things, right or wrong, that are just kind of accepted from a mix of the research and experience.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  40:19

Yeah, I think that’s an interesting because, you know, at least in the area where I like this polarized issue, and which is mostly about training, intensity distribution writ large. As an example, I found when I first kind of started talking about and introduced it, there was almost immediately kind of nods of positive affirmation from coaches and athletes. That’s it. Yeah, that’s, that’s right. That’s what we do, at least, you know, in the European audiences, but the scientists were behind, you know, when there was an ad campaign, right? Because we were invested in, you know, interval training, we were invested in studies that we could do in the lab that were kind of fun and sexy and didn’t take too much time. And so, it’s interesting to me that, and I’m sitting in writing right now on an article that I think the industry that I represent the industry of sport science, and pumping out research in publications, we also jump on fads, we jump on, you know, the question of the of the year or whatever, and we squeeze the turn of a bit, and then we go move on to something else. We also have our bad habits. And I think so now I get a number of I’ve had just even in the last days, emails from people saying, you know, I feel like we know a lot about interval training, but we really don’t know very much about the 80% of the training that you say we need to be in the details on. Yeah, would would to, to our workouts a day be better than one four hour workout? Or would what is zone two? And how do I know when I’m there and this, you know, if Zone Two is so important, a lot of questions like that. And sports scientists aren’t contributing very much at all, to answering those questions.

Trevor Connor  42:06

So I remember you were at a conference that I listened to a year ago. And I’ve always talked about how you and I have seen very, very eye to eye on what the long slow should be. And you know, I’ve always enjoyed our conversations. And I’ve always said on the long ride, don’t even look at power. Just do it by heart rate, power drops, power drops. And I listened to you in this conference. And you went, No, do it by power. Heart rate comes up comes. Yeah,

Dr. Stephen Seiler  42:35

but not too much. You know, so yeah, but but I don’t know that either one of those is right or wrong. And exactly, there’s not a right or wrong on these things. And I have been asked that. Yeah. Should I let the power go down? I asked

Rob Pickels  42:47

you that, yeah, oh, no fast talk, video thing for coffee coaching. And

Dr. Stephen Seiler  42:51

for me, it was a mental issue that I as my athlete mentality, I said, Well, mentally, I don’t in a race or in that kind of competitive situation I would be trying to hold I would try to be hold trying to maintain. So I want my training to be based on holding power, you know, and then dealing with the consequences, up to a point, you know, in training in a race, you would just go to wherever. And that was my way of solving that equation. But I think there are multiple ways of solving it. That’s kind

Trevor Connor  43:25

of what I’m getting at is philosophically, we’re all very much aligned. But when you get into those nuances, that’s where you might start hearing differences of opinion. And I actually love that, Oh, is there going? Oh, no, we’re saying something different. It just got me thinking think about? Should it be by heart rate? Are there times when it should be by heart rate? Are there times that it should be about power? I love those differences of opinion, those nuances that just get you thinking and going back and reevaluating what you’ve already said and go, should I be changing my opinion on this? Well,

Dr. Stephen Seiler  43:56

and I think we’re sliding into this issue of the, you know, I’m a physiologist, but you can’t separate the physiology from the psychology in the training process. A man Yeah. And so this is an example where if I asked the same question to a guy named Roberto carnivore that has trained a lot of the best Kenyan distance runners, and he was in Christensen and speaking because he had a Norwegian athlete he was working with. And so he’s talked about, yeah, when we do hard sessions, you know, whether it’s progressive interval training, or whatever, in the early preparation period, we’re using heart rate or we’re using just going on feel perceived exertion, you know, whatever. And they’re not looking at their speed, you know, but then as they start moving towards the competition period, just getting ready to be able to run 27 or 2645 for 10,000 meters, it’s very specific pace they have to be able to hold so then they become very pace oriented, so it transitions from an inner Monitor. into more of an external load. And I think that sounds really reasonable to me, itself. And psychologically, it sounds appropriate, did the very same thing with my daughter in terms of trying to prescribe different sessions? So I think there is this issue of Yeah, we need to think about the physiology. But we also have to think about, where is the athlete in their preparation process for these big efforts for these extraordinary efforts? And how does the training facilitate that process, you know, which cues were using which monitoring what? And so I think maybe if anything that I’ve learned in my old age is just this, you may be a physiologist, but you got to be a little bit of a psychologist, also? Well,

Grant Holicky  45:47

I mean, not to exemplify this. But the whole reason, I’m here, in some ways is that piece of the puzzle. So if we look at the eight years of what’s changed in this podcast, I personally think, and this is a little bit on the outside looking in, it was so much about the science and the hard science and the numbers and those things early on, it was a bit more of the scientist piece. And it’s moved a little bit toward the coaching piece, because as you’ve said many times that difference between a sports scientist on one side of the continuum and a coach and an purely anecdotal coach on the other side of the continuum, where do we meet in the middle? And how do we progress forward with an individualized plan to a person that may not respond to four by eight, as amazing as that may be? We know they exist, right? And how do we coach an athlete, you know, the thing that I can’t get by when you’re talking about early season, not looking at the paces is, the first thing that comes to my head is Yeah, because if you look at the pace is in, you’re going slow, you’re gonna alter how you’re training and the heart rate, and all those things are gonna go out the window, because the athlete wants to show that they’re in a good place, they want to feel like they’re in a good place. So take that away early on, and bring it back when the time comes, that it’s needed. That’s something I’ve watched in this show. And in coaching, in general, over the last eight years that I’m trying to push at every level is that it is a psycho biological model, these things are intertwined, and you can’t separate the two from each other. And

Dr. Stephen Seiler  47:28

what’s fascinating is that this is both perhaps some of the most sophisticated science that exists is this psycho biological model and understanding these interactions, and at the same time, we could argue that as well, this is just old fashioned coaching. Yeah, you know, and they’re both true

Grant Holicky  47:49

right, then that’s fascinating. And again, I’ve heard you say it, you know, when you go to the coaches and say, This is what we found in the lab, and there’s a bunch of people nodding their head, because coaching is, it’s always a hypothesis, and you test the hypothesis, and you see what works. And you go back to the drawing board, if it didn’t work, and how we interact with those athletes. And what we tell them, you know, we used to tell them, Oh, just think positive thoughts. And now we have all kinds of research that goes, no, that doesn’t work at all, you’ve got to think all the thoughts, and you’ve got to acknowledge all the thoughts and move forward with those thoughts. So yeah, that’s what I think is fascinating, just about the industry in general is watching that change. And especially in cycling, because we got all this information from data, we got all this and all these numbers. And it was awesome. And we watched this huge move to the numbers. Because most sports, you can’t test in real time like that. You don’t have power meters like that, man, we would have killed for something like that, and swimming, and I still don’t know how you come up with it. Right? But then we went so deep on those things. And now what we’re coming back to is what we were playing around with 20 years ago is that, hey, well, this works for this person, or this works with this person. And to me, that’s fascinating that we have more knowledge, but we’ll continue to kind of cycle and grow the knowledge from this side of the continuum in this side of the continuum. And that’s what’s going to make sport continuing to move forward.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  49:20

And the pendulum will tend to swing a bit too far in each direction. It’s just the nature of the game. And then it’s it corrects and even maybe what you could it sounds like you represent a correction that happened on fast talk, you know, because, you know, Chris was getting to haywire with the hearts and Trevor was digging into rabbit holes on signaling and, and you had to make some, you know, in get things back in line with an actual coach, you know, we’ll

Grant Holicky  49:49

see what happens when the pendulum swings the other way and they just cut me out completely.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  49:55

But let’s take that thought and move into the future. little bit because at least, you know, I sat in a meeting a couple of three days ago related to the issues of AI and academia, artificial intelligence. And it was about exactly a year ago, round November last year, when Chet GPT came online, open AI, just suddenly, boom, and it was just an explosion, we’d been hearing about AI and him Hall. And because there really wasn’t anything that suggested it was gonna be a big deal. And then suddenly, it was a big deal. And it in the last 14 months or so, every academic institution probably in the world has had to deal with and think about how do we respond in terms of changing curriculum, how we test students and everything? Well, it’s also worth thinking a lot about it in terms of coaching and sports and analytics and stuff like that. So I guess I can throw out the question is a AI, we know it’s going to revolutionize in many, many, many areas. Is it going to change Kochi? And if so? Or when so how? So

Trevor Connor  51:06

we have been starting to address that question on the show. And I can tell you, Rob, and I had multiple conversations of do we want to do episodes on this, and both of us said, I don’t know enough about it. And I think we finally kind of shifted gears and said, I don’t think anybody knows exactly where it’s going. But this needs to be addressed. And so the research I’ve been doing the conversations I’ve been having with people in the industry, I’m gonna give a little bit of a different opinion of where I stand on this. And I’m not sure everybody listening to this is going to like it. One of the examples I always give, as you look back, you know, was a 15 years ago, polar dominated, everybody used a polar watch with a Polar heart rate strap. That’s what they trained by. And you started to see a change in the technology, there was this move towards a bike computer that was just mounted on your bike and using a Bluetooth heart rate strap. So you could use different heart rate straps. And polar just said, No, we don’t want to get on board with that. And you basically saw Garmin, eat their lunch. And polar quickly no longer became the dominant by computer running computer out there and Garmin kind of took over. That’s one example. You can give many examples of this where some new technology was coming out. And the leaders at the time just said, Yeah, we’re going to kind of ignore that. And then you’ll look back and go, that was a mistake, you shouldn’t have been ignoring that.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  52:31

Well, another Finnish company polars, a Finnish company, and I’ve been in your vesicle. And another one is Nokia. Right? It’s

Grant Holicky  52:39

great example, Kodak is a great example. They invented the digital camera. It I

Trevor Connor  52:44

think anybody right now who’s burying their head in the stand and saying this isn’t going to have much of an impact, that’s what’s going to happen, I think it’s going to have a very big impact, and how it’s going to impact coaching how it’s going to impact technology. I don’t think we know yet. I think a lot of it’s actually going to be very subtle, because AI when it’s developing training plans, when it’s figuring out how to you know what you should be doing for your workout, it doesn’t think like a coach, it doesn’t think like human, it sees things that no coach could ever see because of its ability to analyze the data. But it lacks skill sets that for example a grant has done on the psychology side, believe it or not, yes. So it is going to come up with very different conclusions. It’s going to come up with a different training plan than what a coach, even a really good coach would develop. And I just, you know, the question is whether that’s going to lead to better training or worse training or just different training? I can’t answer that question.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  53:45

I think you’re setting this up as an either or. And that’s unfortunate, or I don’t think that’s the way it plays out, at least not in a transitional phase that can last years and years. And that is that. If we go we look at medicine, what’s happening there, what we’re seeing is that the that’s one of the first places AI has proven to be really useful is diagnostics and being able to look at, for example, images or big sets of data. It’s sitting side by side with the doctor, not instead of the doctor, and now Doctor plus AI is giving more accurate diagnostics than either alone. And I think I can see because it’s not so different to think that coaching is somewhat like that it’s medicine where we’re looking at symptoms and we’re trying to make some type of a diagnosis and then a treatment. You know, it’s not that different. Coaching is about looking at all the what’s going on what’s happening and then planning forward in a kind of a treatment modality. So I think that that’s what we can maybe look forward to is AI enabled coaching or AI empowered, coaching, but it’s not going to get rid of the coach at least not in at least in I can’t foresee that. Yeah, I think

Rob Pickels  55:01

that we need to consider that there’s multiple avenues right moving forward, just like there are currently, you have the self coach athlete, you have the athlete that buys a training plan, and you have the athlete that engages with the coach. You know, I think that the self coach athletes will probably for the most part, stay self coached, the ones that buy the training plan, I think that that training plan ultimately becomes kind of an AI generated training plan. And I think that something like that is likely delivered from an equipment manufacturer, you know, the current ones in the marketplace would be whoop would be Garmin, so on and so forth. And then, you know, Steven, I think that you have the third situation, which is the situation that you’re describing, where an athlete is still engaged with a coach. And the coach is using the AI as a tool that helps augment their abilities, right in areas that AI is strong. Now, at this point, though, I think what we don’t know is the full strength of AI, and what that looks like in the future, we are very much driving all of our decisions about what AI is off what chat GPT is, which is a large language model at this point in time. And obviously, it has limitations in terms of its ability, you know, but AI has the ability to have conversations with athletes. And through conversation, it can learn things about that athlete, it can test how it delivers information, it can test how it gives feedback, and it can optimize for those things as well. It doesn’t just have to optimize for heart rate, it can optimize for the words that it uses when it recommends or gives feedback on sessions. Right. And so I think that if we’re talking ai 10 years from now, the orders of magnitude that the technology is going to be advanced is significantly different than tomorrow or next year. But I do believe that we’re going to start to see a lot more AI. Gosh, I mean, give it give it five years, maybe 10 years. And I think that AI is kind of a part of everything that we do to tell you the truth, I think it becomes a normal part of daily life, right in Google phones, right now, AI is a huge thing with the newest Google Pixel phone, this is just going to become a part of our everyday life like other technology has become a part of our everyday life.

Trevor Connor  57:07

So I want to take a step back, because I am going to be a little bit more doom and gloom here. The talking point has been AI isn’t here to replace the coach, it’s here to really help the coach. So we’re in the content industry. And we’re at a tough point in the content industry. 20 years ago, people bought magazines, people bought newspapers, they would subscribe to websites, he understood if you wanted high quality content, you had to pay for it. And you could really make a living in the content industry. We’ve done the surveys with our listeners with our followers, and brought up the would you pay for our content? And the answer has been consistently the same. We think your content is higher quality. But if we have to pay for it, we’ll do a Google search, get the free stuff. We know it isn’t as good, but it’s free. And I think you’re gonna see a little bit of that with AI. So we did an episode recently on AI with Dr. Larson. And Rob was having fun with this episode. And he asked chat GPT design a training plan. So he gave the goals and the timeline based on the research of Dr. Larson, and then read it to Dr. Larson and Arthur Larson went, yep, that’s pretty spot on. So I think you are going to see a little bit of the same where athletes, you’re gonna have enough athletes go, I could pay a coach or I could go to this AI training software and say, design me a training plan based on the principles of Dr. Sylar. It’s not as good as hiring Dr. Seiler. But it’s free. Well, I

Grant Holicky  58:39

think that’s interesting. And I think you’re gonna see some of that one of the things that I’ll keep coming back to and it’s interesting because it loops into what you’re saying to Trevor, I can’t be a psychologist of any type, and not understand that I come to the table with biases. If I’m going to stand here as a mental strength coach and say, Well, this is why AI won’t work for me, it can’t relate to the athlete, the way I can relate to the athlete, I still have to be able to say on the other side of that coin, I’m bringing bias to the table, based on my past experience, past athletes experiences, all those things that are altering how I’m writing a training plan. So I have to bring AI into what I’m doing to make sure that I’m not using those biases to the detriment of the athlete, I’m training in the current way. Now, this is where it gets a little bit complicated. If you hire AI just to go be grant colicky, then you are bringing in all of my bias into that training plan. So in terms of hiring somebody that is using AI in a way that they can look at their training plan objectively look at the data objectively look at the results of the athlete objectively, and then still make decisions that revolve around the athlete or revolve around what they are saying to you Do about the rest of their lives and the things that they’re not saying to you about the rest of your lives? Yes. Can I eventually do that? Probably, probably. But at that point, it’s going to revolutionize all of society the same way that the industrial revolution changed society the way that the agricultural revolution changed society. And people want to work as hard.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:00:21

Let me just throw this at you because you use the term bias. And you kind of said, well, this is a human issue that we have bias. Well, when I do talk to AI experts, they say the first thing you need to understand is that every AI

Rob Pickels  1:00:34

is biased, somebody developed it with biases that all the different

Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:00:38

length large language models, because you it has learned from a set of data, and that set of data is skewed in different ways. For example, it doesn’t represent females, or people of color or whatever. There are biases that are just tremendous in the learning sets that these these AI tools are based on. So I don’t think bias is eliminated by AI at all. And that’s the experts in AI that are saying that, right?

Grant Holicky  1:01:08

All I’m saying is, and I think that you’re right. My goal is to I think you can bring it in, in certain situations to give you an objective view that maybe can take some of yours out of the equation, but then you still ultimately you’re going to have to make that decision. Right, you take all the information that’s available, and we make that decision. It’s the same thing with the science that we’re looking at. I mean, we take all the information available, and we’re making a decision. But that science, as you’ve noted, Dr. Seiler is not perfect. It’s fraught with generalities. It’s we look at something and say that has a major influence. That’s a big differential. But there’s still five people in that study that got worse, right. I mean, so there’s, there’s those pieces and everything. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I think that a really good use of it is as a piece of it, I don’t think it will overtake coaching completely, because of all the things that we’ve just put out there. But at the same time, what Rob’s saying is, How good does it get if you can keep feeding data to it? How does it overcome those biases over time? Now,

Rob Pickels  1:02:17

Grant, I want to make another point to where we’re really looking at this problem from the backside from the coach’s perspective. But I think that we also have to understand it from the user, the consumers perspective as well. And I want to bring up and I don’t think that this is a good thing. But I want to bring up the fact that I think that human interaction has been on the decline. And I think that as it declines more, it’s going to decline even faster. I know all the time I order food on an app, because sometimes I just don’t really feel like calling the restaurant and talking to somebody not gonna lie, right? Why did Uber and Lyft do so well, because you can whip the app out on your phone, and it is so easy to get that rideshare, you don’t really even got to talk to the person in the car. It’s not like a cab, where you’re waving down a person or you’re calling a cab company. You know, when I just looked it up during this conversation, better health is one of the online AI based mental health platforms, it’s just one of them. And it already has two and a half million users. I hate to say it, I think that people are actually going to prefer talking to a chatbot to AI then to have real human interaction. And I don’t say that as it being positive. I’m not happy it’s moving in that direction. But I do think we have to understand people will prefer to talk with a chatbot. I

Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:03:30

think and there is research that supports that in certain groups that they feel it’s less intimidating, for example, in certain kinds of therapeutic situations and so forth. So I don’t disagree there. It’s an interesting reality.

Chris Case  1:03:44

I always like to be the not the contrarian but the example in the room of someone who doesn’t use a coach basically. And for those out there listening, that are maybe afraid of AI or shaking a little bit because it’s coming. And it’s there’s a little bit of anxiety about it. I don’t think you really have to worry about it. Because if you’re doing what you’re doing now and you’re like me in any way you don’t, you don’t look at any of the data. You absorb what you learn from fast talk and from other sources and you keep that in your head and you train by feeling if that’s the way you go and disregard all that other stuff. And there you go. Yeah. stays

Grant Holicky  1:04:27

the same. You train without a coach for a very specific reason. What’s

Chris Case  1:04:31

that? I don’t like people.

Grant Holicky  1:04:33

A you don’t like people? You worry. I was joking. No, I don’t. I think that for a lot of people. The the idea of hiring a coach instills a degree of seriousness. This is super important to me. This is the most important thing in the world. And I know you you’ve talked to me about some of this on I’m not putting all of it on you. But it lends this degree of pressure that just doesn’t need to exist and what it is that you do Do so you’d rather do it on your own and figure it out on your own you are earlier they refer to you as not a scientist, but everything and how you think and operate is that of a scientist, you test things, you try things, and you change and move things beyond. So I think that that is true of a huge portion of the population, I think that portion of the population is actually growing. It’s part of why we see gravel and bikepacking have this explosion in popularity, because it’s a challenge to the individual without being judged against the rest of the population. And there’s joy in that. And it’s that same idea of why Rob would probably be preferred to order from a chatbot. And not from a person because they don’t, he doesn’t want to be judged for the six pounds of chicken wings that he’s ordered. And why the why people want therapy from a chatbot rather a real person, because there’s that feeling that they’re not getting judged. Human Interaction is difficult, because it comes with a whole lot of baggage. And that’s why it’s nice for people to not necessarily have that. When you can pull that information in, you feel like you have autonomy, you feel like you have control. And we’ve talked about this the other day, that comes back to that idea of SDT self determination, and that feeling that you’re in control, not yours. So I think you can make that argument on both sides of the equation, right? This is why chat or why AI will really work. But to your point, this is why people will still want that element of

Trevor Connor  1:06:31

control. Yeah, if I could actually eat six pounds of chicken wings, I want to be judged for that. I want that on my tombstone, he ate six pounds, I

Grant Holicky  1:06:41

guarantee it will be that’s why he’s here.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:06:48

But guys, it’s funny because as I’m speaking a lot about monitoring and coaching and everything, I don’t have a coach myself. And currently, I am not even paying a whiff of a bit of attention to my training data, or like the training peaks or whatever. I’m not filling it. I’m not even filling it in. And why is that? Well, it’s because I know, I would be disappointed if I looked at it. Yeah, I got it. I got it. It’s been a freakin busy semester, I had to travel more and do more. And I know my training is down. I know my FTP is down. I don’t need more numbers to make me feel more inferior right now. So sometimes I think that’s part of it, too, is you know, I’m like Mr. Training, monitoring. And I’m doing the least training monitoring I’ve done in the last five years right now. But I got to kind of plan that I said, I’m going to zero out. And in January, I started again, with the kind of refreshed mindsets, I think it’s okay sometimes to take a break from all this feedback. And maybe sometimes we need it, we need to take a break from it. Or maybe sometimes we say, You know what, it’s not going to help me because I know I’m not able to train as much as I usually do. I don’t need it in black and white every darn day. And to

Rob Pickels  1:08:07

be honest, I think that that’s the message that self coached athletes need to hear the most oftentimes, it’s okay, that things aren’t perfect. It’s okay that you’re not monitoring everything. It’s okay that your interval was four minutes and 45 seconds and not five minutes. Exactly. You know, there are so many athletes who will have to do everything to the absolute minute and put themselves either into harm or alter their route or whatever because of it. These gray areas there. Okay.

Grant Holicky  1:08:37

I think all athletes need to hear that self coached, coached, whatever it is AI coached. Everybody needs to hear that. That’s okay. I learned to tell people that that’s okay.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:08:47

You guys are ruining my training today. Because I’m having to sit here. It’s what time is. Same for me nine o’clock at night now? No, it’s not that late.

Grant Holicky  1:08:55

But it’s entirely my children’s fault. Sorry. Well, that’s

Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:08:59

been the reality for me for this last few months is things like this happen. And I have to make a decision. What do I train at 830 at night? Or am I too tired? Do I let it go to drop a workout? And often I’ve said I’m just dropping a workout, you know? And that’s okay. And I’m good with it. But I would be less good with it if I got fixated on the numbers. So sometimes I do think it’s okay.

Griffin McMath  1:09:19

I think the other part about having all of this data available to athletes is it could help the athlete learn about themselves, right? Or it could be you know, we talked about this in the podcast numerous times, it could also provided data overload. So you just have a bunch of data and then you’re training towards maybe moving arbitrary numbers forward rather than actual progress that maybe a coach could help you achieve. So putting the data into context and being able to utilize it to help you learn more about yourself, be able to notice other things that are happening in your body or your mood or your motivation, your likelihood to maintain discipline these other things that would be really critical to a training plan. that AI can’t necessarily provide. So I remember, it’s kind of like, a couple of decades ago, when GPS units became available, right? There was this, oh, if we’re just constantly relying on GPS, and the data that’s available to us will never, like intuitively know, a certain area will never like, understand or be more present. And I think that’s sometimes somewhat similar with AI, like you, you have all this instant data, and you can just kind of mindlessly go along. And you know, train towards the data. But are you actually present? Are you using this data to learn more about yourself to see feedback loops that your body and mind are providing you during training or during a race? I think that’s kind of the opportunity every athlete has to choose? Am I going to be really conscious and intentional about this or not so much.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:10:46

I don’t know, maybe in this spirit of Christmas holidays, it’s probably good to have a one month or several week a year, kind of sabbatical from data as a reset. You know, and maybe Christmas time is a good time to do that. For a lot of people.

Grant Holicky  1:11:01

I love that. I think that, you know, I have a lot of my cross athletes that just finished their season with nationals. And the question I asked a lot of them is, do you want to take a break now? Or do you want to wait till the holidays? And a lot of them? Their answers halted right now so I can train hard during the holidays? And my answer is usually is that really going to happen? Why don’t we just keep it going for a couple of weeks and then just shut it down over the holidays. And pick that date that you want to start up just like you’re doing and January comes around, I’m going to get it together I’ve found that my life like this is the time of year where I give in a little bit to the gluttony I’ll eat a bowl ice cream at night I’ll have an extra beer and I’ll really enjoy that because it’s part of the social structure that I have with my family and my friends and the people around me. And I am like you dr Sylar in the second half of my life I have less than windshields. Whatever the hell that analogy you tried to

Trevor Connor  1:12:01

drive with either. Yeah,

Grant Holicky  1:12:03

I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t.

Chris Case  1:12:05

Tyler son sounds like this. This

Grant Holicky  1:12:07

is what we’ll do. We’ll have side looking backwards, me looking forwards. And we’ll come to the middle. But I want to enjoy those moments with those people around me and I want to whatever enhances those moments, that’s what I’m wanting to do. And more often than not, it’s when I get to let go that happens.

Rob Pickels  1:12:27

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Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:12:54

Guys, I’m gonna fly in for a landing here. And I see that I wrote down some questions or some issues that we’re not going to be able to talk about today. But I want to throw them out there just for future reference, because they’re things that I think are kind of coming into the discussion. And for example, I wrote down HIIT high intensity interval training done fresh versus fatigued. Where are we going to land? Are we going to start saying Now let’s get tired and then do our HIIT session? Because that’s going to be more like preparation for racing. More like maybe developing high intensity repeatability. I wrote double versus single sessions. We know nothing. We know nothing about that right now.

Rob Pickels  1:13:39

So you asked questions that users might have been interested in hearing us talking about episode?

Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:13:43

Well, you’re given us some episodes, you know, Episode 301 to 400. I think these are going to be at least a few of the questions. What about hot intervals, which what I really meant was combining two different modalities because we know that heat acclamation seems to have some interesting effects. Interval training is a standby or what if you do hot intervals, so you’re gonna reduce power, but you’re gonna get the heat at the same time? Just these combinations of different stimuli. periodization versus reverse periodization meaning, you know, one of the studies I did we periodized in a traditional way, going from long lower intensity intervals towards higher intensity. And then we had another group that flipped that on the idea that well, let’s get vO to max up and then extend. Well, there’s very little research on that, you know, so there’s actually despite the fact that we produce a truckload

Grant Holicky  1:14:40

of research, I like Jeff first choice.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:14:42

I know what I wanted to say. But But I didn’t, because it’s it’s a family show. But I think there are some questions to be pursued both by the coaches and the science people together. That hopefully will be topics for discussion in the next Next 100 episodes are the next 50 At least. And hopefully I’ll live to listen to them. But I don’t think we’re out of reasonable questions to ask. And so I guess I just wanted to throw that out there that there are some interesting things happening in endurance training, despite the fact that we have 100. year history does feel like there are some new interesting questions,

Rob Pickels  1:15:23

I’d say. They’re all interesting questions. And they should be talked about, they should be talked about. But Trevor, and I know really well, for all of us probably know, really well, the fact that those probably constitute very small percentages of improvement. Whereas the stuff that makes 99% of most improvements people get wrong to begin with. So they shouldn’t necessarily focus on heat adaptation during interval sessions, they should focus on the fundamentals. Just putting that out there. I actually getting up off the sofa. Yeah, that would be a star. Yeah. Yep. All that sort of stuff. Um,

Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:16:02

no, I know, I know, you know, in that, and you do a wonderful job, and I tried to do a good job of staying focused on the big stuff. But you know, I guess we can do both is I think we have to keep helping people remind reminding people of what makes the biggest difference in their training in their athletic mentality, and then, at the same time, have some of these discussions of the rabbit holes and stuff so and I think you guys do a great job of that.

Rob Pickels  1:16:29

I would agree that entirely, there are some people that have optimized most everything about the fundamentals and are looking for those small percentage points at this point. But I think the vast majority of people not gonna take a guess at what our fast talks listener base is made up of. But it’s, it’s contains both types of people.

Trevor Connor  1:16:48

Well, at the very least, you pointed out, we got enough to keep us going to Episode Four on Yeah, there you go.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:16:53

Yeah. And you’re making so much money off of this.

Grant Holicky  1:16:58

I stopped now, but you you did raise

Trevor Connor  1:17:00

something that has been one of the most interesting things for me doing this show, because I remember graduating from school and go, Oh, science has answered everything. All you have to do is find the research, and there’s an answer to it all. And it’s been fascinating how many topics like that reverse periodization, we tried to do an episode on it and just went couldn’t find a study. It is amazing. The things that actually haven’t been researched that still need answers, we

Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:17:24

reverse periodized the intervals part of it, but not you know,

Rob Pickels  1:17:28

for those that haven’t read it, it was four by 16 minutes, four by eight minutes and four by four minutes, if I remember

Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:17:34

correctly, that’s right, in one group and the other flipped at the other direction. And

Rob Pickels  1:17:38

then there was a mixed group that did a little bit of everything each week, but

Trevor Connor  1:17:42

a study on more focus on the overall periodization approach. Yeah, we just did an episode on Block Periodization. There’s a whole bunch of studies on Block Periodization studies on reverse periodization as a periodization approach going through the whole season. I’ve never seen one personally. I

Rob Pickels  1:17:59

mean, I think that there’s also the interesting concept too. And grant, I think you kind of follow this a little bit where I think that as coaches, we have begun period Ising less throughout the 52 weeks in a year than was maybe recommended previously, right? You maybe look at some strength and power like two door Bompa and the beginning of periodization. there and it was dramatically different. It was dramatically different what people were doing now, and 20 weeks from now. And I think that the recipe is somewhat still the same. And I think that even Dr. Seiler, some of your research indicates this like for the most part, that polarized training pattern is the same week in and week out. Now maybe there’s a little bit of a difference percent wise here and there. But I don’t really think that it’s huge to tell you the truth. And so, you know, I have to wonder is periodization even needed? Or is there just maybe an annual fluctuation say in total volume? That is certainly going to happen with amateur athletes in and out of season.

Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:18:56

I’ll respond if I remember correctly, there’ll be two things I’ll respond with one was, you know, I made this kind of Maslow veon model, or I tried to say first things first and that hierarchy. And that’s one of the things I said, somewhat tentatively, I said, Look, it seems like if you get the basic intensity distribution, right from week to week, that solves a lot of problems. And then periodization becomes a bit of icing on top. That’s one thing and I still believe that’s consistent with what I see. And the other is I totally agree. And I am a fan of John Keeley in this regard a scientist based in the UK, where he really challenges all of us on anything around periodization all of our different models trying to say look, you know, you can write all this down and you can historically try to track where does all this periodization come from and the linear of the idea of a linear predictability. And then you got to bring in the psycho biological model and say, Man Alive, here’s what you plan and then here’s the life here’s stress. Here’s to reality that has all of these different issues, you know, all these different things that interfere and interact with your plan. And so I think that has really been an important kind of correction that says, Yeah, plan, you know, make plans. Planning is critical. But plans are useless. I think a famous general one said, and I believe we are kind of understanding that process a bit more in that periodization is becoming more of a, I don’t know, a soft touch in a guided touch. You know, in terms of adjustments. I

Rob Pickels  1:20:38

think Mike Tyson said everyone has a plan until they’re punched in the mouth. Yeah,

Grant Holicky  1:20:42

that was another one. Yeah. There’s some great studies talking about great athletes how they visualize great athletes don’t just visualize everything going well. They also take time to visualize things going wrong. You know, an interesting side note before nationals, I sat Eric down two weeks before nationals, I said, I want you to start visualizing what happens if you get a flat tire. If you break a chain. If those things how are you going to come back? I don’t know if it had an effect, but seems like a mile off. Well, I

Dr. Stephen Seiler  1:21:12

think that’s a wonderful thing to think about. And guys, it’s been wonderful chatting with you. This is episode 300. You never know how long the run will go. But I definitely think there’s enough wisdom and enough important issues and enough need that it should go longer. And I hope we’re talking again in another 100 episodes. So it’s been a great chat. I’ve been honored to kind of try to guide this group. You brought me into podcasts. And now we’re 300 along. So with that, I will say thank you and I hope the listeners got something out of this and I think fast doc will be throwing some really good questions and some good discussions at you in 301. And moving forward. Thanks for me.

Trevor Connor  1:21:55

Thank you Dr. Seiler, it was a pleasure. That was another episode of Fast Talk. The thoughts and opinions expressed in Fast Talk are those are the individual. Subscribe to Fast Talk wherever you prefer to find your favorite podcast. Be sure to leave us a rating or review. As always love your feedback, tweet us at @fasttalklabs. Join the conversation at forums of or learn from our experts at For Rob Pickels, Grant Holicky, Griffin McMath, Chris Case, Dr. Stephen Seiler. I’m Trevor Connor. Thanks for listening!